Ace 1/72 BMP-2
|PRICE:||$8.95 from www.scale-model-kits.com|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run kit|
Although the BMP-1 was a revolutionary design, its main armament, the 2A28 Grom and the 9S428 ATGM launcher capable of firing the 9M14 Malyutka (NATO: AT-3A Sagger A) and the 9M14M Malyutka-M (NATO: AT-3B Sagger B) ATGMs, quickly became obsolete. Therefore the Soviet Union decided to produce an updated and improved version of the BMP-1. The main emphasis was put on improving the main armament. In 1972 work got underway to develop an improved version of the BMP-1.
During its combat debut in the Yom Kippur War, Egyptian and Syrian BMPs proved vulnerable to .50 calibre machinegun fire in the sides and rear, and to 106 mm recoilless rifles. The 73 mm gun proved inaccurate beyond 500 meters, and the AT-3 Sagger missile could not be guided effectively from the confines of the turret.
Several Soviet technical teams were sent to Syria in the wake of the war to gather information. These lessons combined with observations of western AFV developments resulting in a replacement program for the original BMP in 1974. The first product of this program was the BMP-1P upgrade intended as a stopgap to address the most serious problems with the existing design. Smoke grenade launchers were added to the rear of the turret and the manually guided AT-3 Sagger missile system was replaced with the semi-automatically guided AT-4 Spigot and AT-5 Spandrel system. The new missiles were somewhat difficult to use since the gunner had to actually stand out on the roof to use the weapons, exposing himself to hostile fire. The BMP-1P was in production by the late 1970s and existing BMP-1s were gradually upgraded to the standard during the 1980s.
The BMP-2 is broadly similar to the BMP-1. The most significant changes are:
The BMP-1 and BMP-2 share the same chassis and have almost identical road performance. The BMP-2 is heavier but also has a more powerful engine to compensate.
Judging by the 2001 date on the instructions, this is one of Ace's earlier kits. It comes on four plastic sprues of varying colors. Detailing is fairly good, though seems a bit less crisp than their current new kits. The parts sprues are relatively devoid of flash, though there is some on the link and length tracks and a few other pieces.
The kit's main hull has the suspension molded in place. Road wheels and idler/sprocket gears need to have the link and length tracks molded around them. The instructions show exactly which sections go where. Much of rest of the detail is for the turret and gun. The turret is to be glued into position so no rotating on this one. The kit comes complete with sand guards for the upper track area.
Instructions are a folded sheet of paper that has the two exploded construction views on one side and a history/parts diagram/camo scheme on the other. There is a Soviet option, Czech option and East German option, all in Khaki Green. A Kuwaiti version in a very sun bleached Khaki Green is shown on the box art. The small decal sheet is fairly well printed and should work just fine.
Ace has provided the basis of a very nice model. Careful construction is required for these kits as is test fitting of each part prior to applying glue. However, the kits make for an enjoyable build and the end results will be a nice addition to your display shelf.
Thanks to www.scale-model-kits.com for the preview kit. Get yours at the link and at a discount.
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